Tag Archives: WVFD

A toast to Barry’s, and a peek inside the new Woofs indoor dog park

22 Jan

Anyone who knows Barry’s Old School Irish knows how much Danny Barry likes to make toasts to just about anything, often handing out mini shots of whiskey to everyone in the pub when he does.

Last night was no exception, but the occasion was rather exceptional. Saturday night’s whiskey toast was to our Webster firefighters, and the occasion was to present a $1,000 check to the Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD), a portion of the proceeds from last August’s Barry’s Irish Festival.

As an illustration of the bond between Barry’s Old School Irish and the WVFD, Danny pointed out the Barry’s-emblazoned firefighter jacket hanging just inside the front door. “It’s one of our favorite things in this pub,” he said, “a reminder of the friendship we’ve had for the 12 years we’ve been open.”

WVFD Chief Andrew Vorndran accepted the check and spoke for the many firefighters assembled last night, thanking Danny and Jessica for “being family and for always being there for us.”

Barry’s also donated a portion of their Irish Festival proceeds to the Ancient Order of Hibernians in support of their efforts to build an Irish Center in Rochester.


When I stopped into Woof’s Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park on Thursday, things were still in significant disarray. So I was pleasantly surprised on Saturday, when I went back for the grand opening celebration and saw an amazing transformation and an impressive facility.

There’s a very large, astro-turfed area for large dogs to run around in, which owner Christine Gigante had sprinkled with some agility equipment. Fenced off to the side is a smaller area for smaller dogs, and both areas have benches along the walls for the pups’ parents to sit while their dogs play.

But what I really liked was the nice little cafe area and social area, designed for pet owners to relax while they watch their dogs play, and maybe even get to know others. There’s a small work-out area, some retail, and even dog-friendly baked goods.

A steady stream of dogs and their people were coming and going while I was there, and the opening even got some attention from the local TV stations.

On her Facebook page last night, owner Christine Gigante couldn’t hold back her excitement. She wrote,

“Wow! Just wow. We cannot thank you all enough for such an AMAZING DAY! Thank you to 13 WHAM ABC and WHEC TV for coming to cover our grand opening event and to our phenomenal neighbors and partners for supporting us.”

Woofs Canine Club and Indoor Dog Park is located at 187 West Main St. in Webster, in the old World Gym building. Official business operating hours will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Hours will be posted on the Woofs Facebook page, so check back there often for updates.

Here a look inside:

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(posted 1/22/2023)

Mock DWI scenario taught Webster Thomas students a sobering lesson

27 May

Anyone who happened to drive by Thomas High School Wednesday morning might have been alarmed to see dozens of firefighters, police officers, EMTs and their emergency vehicles swarming around what appeared to be a horrific accident that had just occured in front of the school.

But they needn’t have worried. The realistic accident scene was actually a very carefully arranged and pre-planned mock DWI scenario. It’s organized annually by our local emergency responders as a training exercise, and hosted by the school district during prom and graduation party season as a serious, real-life lesson for our students.

The scene imagined a two-car accident occurring just down the street from the high school, at the corner of Five Mile Line Rd. and Publisher’s Parkway. About 700 juniors and seniors watched from bleachers in the parking lot as School Resource Officer David Herrle described what happened.

It was prom night, and the young driver of one of the cars had had too much to drink. The other driver, distracted by the friends riding with him, didn’t see the drunk driver bearing down on him as he made the turn. He was t-boned.

Somebody called 911, and emergency vehicles started arriving. First a police car, and then a second. Finally, after what seemed like a very long time, an ambulance, two fire trucks from West Webster, and two more from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department pulled up.

As the officers and firefighters surveyed the scene, they found that the distracted driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, had been ejected. He was lying on the sidewalk nearby, dead. Firefighters placed a sheet over him. Another student in the car suffered a broken ankle and, after getting out of the car, hobbled to the ambulance.

The drunk driver was unscathed, and with some assistance was able get out of her car. Her three passengers, however, had to be removed with the help of the Jaws of Life, an agonizingly long and fightening process if you’re trapped and hurt.

As the firefighters were removing doors and cutting the roof off the car, the young lady who was driving drunk was taken aside by a police officer, given a field sobriety test and arrested.

The whole scenario only took about 45 minutes, but for those who were taking it seriously, they might be among the most important 45 minutes of their lives.

Acerin Menough, a Thomas High junior, was especially surprised by how long it took to get everyone extracted. After the presentation, she told me,

It took a lot longer than I thought it was going to take. I thought it would take maybe like ten minutes for them to get everybody out of the cars but it took an entire block, like 45 minutes to an hour. That was pretty scary, knowing that I could be totally fine driving and then somebody could hit me, and I could end up dying because of it. But I also found it very interesting seeing how they opened the cars and how hard it was to get into the cars.

But Acerin was also bothered by how some of classmates were behaving. When I asked her if she thought everyone else would take it seriously, she said,

“Probably not. A lot of them weren’t paying attention or messing around on their phones, which is really upsetting, because this could save their lives. A lot of them just don’t care and they don’t understand the impact of that.”

Speaking as a mother, I hope the message being shared that day sunk in at least a little bit with everyone. But I know that’s wishful thinking. Young people these days tend to think they’re invincible. Bad stuff like that can happen to someone else, but never to me.

But I couldn’t help thinking back to one of these mock DWI presentations I watched many years ago when I was working at Thomas. In addition to the student actors, the school had brought in the mother of the driver who “died.” She was standing on the school’s front walk when a police officer told her that her son had not survived. As any mother would when given that news, she collapsed with grief. As I watched, I found it easy to imagine how devastated she was, to feel the searing pain of losing a child. I cried, too.

I don’t imagine many high school students read this blog. But if you have one, or know of one, perhaps you can present him or her with that perspective: you might think it’s OK to be cavalier with your life, cut corners and take chances. But think what the news of your hospitalization — or death — would do to your parents.

Thank you to all of the organizations who joined forces to stage this important demonstration: the Webster Police Department, Webster Volunteer Fire Department, West Webster Fire Department, Webster EMS, Northeast Quadrant ALS and Webster Central School District. Thanks also to Wilbert’s U-Pull It for donating the vehicles and Barth Towing for getting the vehicles to and from the accident scene.

The entire scenario will replayed at Webster Schroeder on Thursday June 2 in the back parking lot.

Here’s a slideshow of photos from the event:

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(posted 5/24/2022)

Training never stops for our volunteer firefighters

31 Jan

When an emergency happens, like a car accident or a house fire, we’re always grateful and relieved to see our local first responders show up to take care of things. But during our day-to-day normal lives, when nothing awful like that is happening, we don’t give them much thought at all.

But rest assured, they’re always thinking about us.

That point was driven home to me a few days ago when I saw a Facebook post from the Webster Volunteer Fire Department, about a joint training exercise they held last Saturday morning with the West Webster Fire Department.

The post read,

The Webster Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) and the West Webster Fire Department (WWFD) held a joint water rescue training session at the Webster Aquatic Center this morning. Several topics were covered including rescue equipment, techniques to retrieve a victim, and how to secure a victim who has been injured. The training session was capped off with some practice on the Fortuna rescue boat and it was discovered just how precarious it can be when several people try to climb on at once! … We’re here for when you need us, Webster!

The two departments are hoping to schedule joint training sessions like this at least four times this year. The next one will probably be a large area wildland search once the weather improves. In the meantime, the WVFD and WWFD hold weekly drills within their own departments. Recent ones for the WVFD have included search and rescue techniques, driver training, advancements in technology, hazmat, air consumption and many more.

Here are a few more photos from the morning’s exercise:

Thank you to Sarah Mossey for most of these photos.

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Photos from the Trick or Treat Trail

31 Oct

Well, it wasn’t as warm or sunny as we’ve experienced some years, and not as dry as most. But the few showers that we had yesterday afternoon didn’t deter hundreds of kids and their adults from strolling the Village of Webster’s streets during this year’s Trick-or-Treat Trail.

More than two dozen businesses participated this year, as well as the Webster Museum and Webster Volunteer Fire Department, which always uses the day to host its annual open house. The costume contest, modified this year to become a Covid-friendly walk-through event, ran so smoothly that I dare say it might become the norm for future years.

It’s always great to see how much fun the kids have, and how proud they are of their costumes. But I especially like seeing how many adults dress up as well, often as part of a family theme. It’s one of my favorite days of the year.

Many thanks to all the parents who let me stop them in their tracks so I could take photos. There’s more than 150 in my Facebook gallery, so there’s a good chance you’ll see yourself and your kids, or at least someone you know.

I’ve posted a few photos here, but click here to see the gallery.

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Trick-or-Treat Trail and costume contest details

28 Oct

Looks like the weather’s going to be a little bit iffy on Saturday, but nothing is going to stop this year’s Webster Village Trick-or-Treat Trail. ‘Cause we need this to help life return to normal.

As always, the day will begin with a costume contest, but this year it will look a little different. Instead of everyone crowding into the Village Meeting Room for photos and judging, participants are being asked to do a meeting room walk-through. Here’s what I mean:

From 11 a.m. to noon, contestants will enter the meeting room via the parking lot side of the building (behind the fire house), fill out an entry form, be given an entry number, have their photo taken, and exit through the South Ave. side of the building. After all the photos have been reviewed, winners will be notified on Monday Nov. 1. (And I’ll post the winners here as well.)

The Trick-or-Treat Trail proper begins at noon and goes until 2:30 p.m. Grab your kids, get everyone into costumes (including you, too, Mom and Dad), then stroll through the village, visiting friendly merchants who will be handing out candy. This is a great chance to check out some of the newer businesses in town, or even some older businesses you’ve never been in before.

And make sure you stop by the Webster Volunteer Fire Dept., because they’ll be holding their annual open house, complete with demonstrations, free fire hats, and candy of course. And turn the corner on Lapham Park to take the short walk to the Webster Museum. The volunteers there always have something special planned.

Keep an eye out for me and my camera; I’ll be wandering the streets, too, taking photos of as many kids and families in costume as I can. Then I’ll post a really big photo gallery on Monday.

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Time to show our love to the WVFD

22 Aug

If you live in the Village of Webster or on the town’s east side, you probably got one of these flyers in the mail recently.

Don’t throw it out. Or if it already has made it to the recycle bin, go grab it. Because this year more than ever, we need to support our Webster Volunteer Fire Department.

These are the men and women who will drop everything at a moment’s notice when they hear that one of their Webster neighbors is in trouble, rushing to help out in any way they can to — hopefully — make one of the worst days in your life a little better. And not a one of them is paid for their service.

This year, as you know, the annual Firemen’s Carnival was canceled due to the pandemic. That event has always been the fire department’s biggest fundraiser, and losing that influx of cash leaves a huge funding gap.

If you and your family has never required the services of our Webster volunteer firefighters, consider yourself blessed. But if and when that time should come — when you might be having one of the worst days of your life — it’s comforting to know that these dedicated volunteers will rush to your side.

So let’s all show them some love, and throw them some money. It’s pretty easy. Simply log onto www.donateWVFD.org, or complete and mail the envelope that was enclosed in the mailing.

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Webster community mailbag

8 Aug

There are several ways for you to help out your community — and environment — in today’s mailbag.

Bottle and Can Drive

Capture

For starters, the Webster Marching Band will hold their next bottle and can drive on Saturday August 22 at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. 

Bottles and cans can be dropped off at the high school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. If you have any that you’d like to have picked up before then, simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline at 234-8684, select option 1, leave a message, and someone will be in touch to pick up your returnables.

Food Drive

Capture2

That same day, Saturday August 22, Immanuel Lutheran Church at 131 West Main Street in Webster will host a non-perishable food drive. All donations will be used for the church’s Little Free Pantry and the WCSD Food Backpack Program.

Click on the poster above for more information about items they particularly need. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Blood Drive

blood drive

Another local opportunity for you to help save lives with your blood donation will take place on Tuesday Aug. 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Webster Volunteer Fire Department Firemen’s Building, 172 Sanford Street. To set up your appointment, call 1-800-Red-Cross. 

Electronics Recycling

The next local electronics recycling event will be held at Xerox on Saturday August 29 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The last time one of these drives was held at Xerox, the line of cars stretched down Phillips Rd. So organizers are requesting that everybody pre-register for this drive. Click here to do that.

Items that will be accepted include cell phones, computers, monitors, printers, audio video equipment, and small devices. There’s a limit of four TV monitors per car.

Book Sale! 

The Webster Public Library will hold a pop-up book sale on Thursday August 13 from noon to 4 p.m. outside the library on Van Ingen Dr.

All books will be $1 each. Please bring cash, wear your mask, and follow the social distancing guidelines that are laid out at the sale.

Movies and Concerts Return!

The Village of Webster is squeezing as much summer out of this year as they can.

Movies in the Gazebo Park series will return with two showings in the coming week in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

Monsters uniMonsters University will be shown on Tuesday Aug. 11, and Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman on Saturday Aug. 15.

Both movies will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m. To encourage social distancing, the park will be marked off with specific “family areas” spaced six feet apart in the grass. There will be plenty of room for chairs and/or blankets within each spot and facial masks must be worn when outside your family space. There will be room for about 60 family spaces and are first-come, first-served. You can place your chairs or blankets in a space to reserve it on movie or concert days anytime after 2 p.m. the day of the event.

No popcorn will be served so feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks.

And the (abbreviated) Friday Night Concert Series is back, too!

Friday Aug. 21 will feature Super Mini Prime Time Funk with Ronnie Leigh on vocals and sax, Dave Cohen on drums, Andy Calabrese on keys and Ron France on bass.

Friday Aug. 28, the Juday Sealy Band will take the stage. Recently Judah, a School of the Arts grad,  released his highly anticipated single called “Off The Charts” which spent two months on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart. The group also features Webster HS graduate Deepak Thettu on guitar.

The Bill Tiberio Band returns Friday Sept 4, with Bill Tiberio on alto and tenor sax, Scott Bradley on trumpet and keyboards, Vinnie Ruggiero on guitar, Phil Lake on drums and Geoff Smith on bass.

The concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information visit websterbid.com.

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WVFD firefighters offer a holiday greeting

27 Dec

WVFD1

You  may have been reading and seeing stories lately about how local first responders have been gathering every week this month to “say goodnight” to the children at Golisano Children’s Hospital. They line their trucks all along Crittenden Blvd., turn on all their emergency lights and stand atop the vehicles waving to all the children looking down from the hospital’s top floors.

Yesterday our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department participated in the heartwarming event, the last time it would happen this month.

Here are a few photos from the evening, and you can visit the WVFD Facebook page check out some videos.

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First Responders 5K a great success

2 Sep

IMG_9225b

More than 600 runners and walkers participated in the inaugural First Responders 5K on Friday night, enjoying gorgeous (albeit somewhat warm) weather and a party atmosphere to support a good cause.

The race was organized, according to the website, to “recognize the strength, perseverance, and courage of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and their families in our local community.” Funds raised will go to create a local charity to “provide support, awareness, assets, and services to first responders seeking assistance in dealing with the effects of PTSD.”

The race began and ended on Sanford Street, at the south side of Firemen’s Field, and wound three miles through neighborhood streets on the village’s east side. Every finisher received a medal, and enjoyed plenty of post-race food, a free beer and live music. Runners came from all over the area, including representatives from fire companies, police departments and EMS companies from all over Monroe County and beyond.

Of course many of our very own Webster Volunteer Firefighters participated, completing the entire race in full turnout gear. I even saw a Webster policeman running in his full uniform — including his dress shoes.

The number of people who signed up for the race was a delightful surprise. Even the race organizers, Fleet Feet, noted that more than 600 participants is pretty much unheard of for a first-time race, especially on a Friday night. AND on Labor Day weekend.

But that’s who we are in Webster — a strong, supportive community. I fully expect that given this year’s success, the First Responders 5K will be back again next year, and Webster will come through again.

Click here to see a small gallery of photos from the race. You can also check out a short video which Channel 8 News ran after the event, featuring one of our very own Webster volunteer firefighters.

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Q&A about being a volunteer firefighter

22 Apr

swingly

My Our Towns East Extra column today highlights our very own Webster Volunteer Fire Department. I am proud to know many of these men and women, and pleased to be able to help them in their cause to recruit new members.

So if you’ve ever thought about it — even a bit — and ever had questions like “Do I have to get up every night in the middle of the night to run into a burning building?” you shsould read this column.

wvfd

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